Quakers Living in the Lion's Mouth
The prologue introduces Samuel M. Janney, Quaker minister, educator, historian, and antislavery activist. His 1849 arrest by a Loudoun County, Virginia, grand jury for inciting slave revolt introduces and illustrates Friends' awkward position within antebellum Virginia society as, at once, southerners and outsiders. It outlines Quaker spiritual beliefs, particularly their belief in the “inward light” within all people, and how this notion led to Friends' embrace of pacifism and antislavery. Finally, it identifies the book's central themes: the limits of dissent in the antebellum Upper South; the nature of antebellum southern identity; the question of means and ends in efforts of reformers to effect social change; and the transformation of antebellum Quakerism.
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